Wrist pain and wrist injury
Duke Orthopaedics is a nationally ranked orthopaedic center offering advanced care for conditions affecting the wrist and forearm. Our hand and wrist specialists are experts in minimally invasive surgical techniques and wrist fracture repair.
Relieving your wrist and forearm pain
Whether you're suffering from a wrist fracture, forearm fracture or wrist arthritis, our specialists have the expertise and skill to alleviate your wrist pain, increase your range of motion, and return you to your normal activities. Our experts have advanced training and skill in diagnosing and treating painful wrist and forearm conditions including carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, wrist fractures, ganglion cysts, tendon injuries, tumors, wrist arthritis and cartilage tears.
When you come to us for treatment of your wrist pain, you receive care from nationally recognized medical professionals who are committed to your complete recovery. Duke is consistently ranked as one of the top orthopaedic programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
Choose Duke for your wrist and forearm care because we offer:
- New techniques for wrist fractures. Our doctors pioneered surgical techniques to repair wrist fractures. We have designed systems of plates, screws and rods to treat wrist injuries, eliminating pain and increasing mobility and function.
- Exceptional outcomes for carpal tunnel syndrome. Our skilled surgeons have earned a reputation for relieving wrist pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome and returning our patients to normal activities. We receive hundreds of referrals for carpal tunnel syndrome every year.
- Highly specialized team of surgeons. Our fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeons are dedicated to treating patients with hand, wrist, elbow and arm issues. They have trained hundreds of other orthpaedic surgeons who now practice around the country. Because of our expertise, our orthpaedic program is consistently ranked as one of the top in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
- Expert treatment for sports injuries. We are experts in treating sports injuries in the wrist including overuse injuries and traumatic injuries.
- Easier surgeries, faster recoveries. We specialize in minimally invasive techniques such as arthroscopy and arthroscopic-assisted fracture repair. This approach eliminates the need for a large incision and promotes a speedy recovery. We are experts in wrist replacement surgery, for severe cases of wrist arthritis.
- Personalized physical therapy. Our physical therapists work closely with our doctors to create a customized rehabilitation plan for your wrist pain, or wrist or forearm injury.
WRIST PAIN AND INJURY
Some injuries heal with a cast or splint and physical therapy alone. When damage to the ligaments, cartilage, and bones in the wrist requires surgery, we offer these options:
Our wrist and forearm specialists perform minimally invasive arthroscopy using small incisions through which surgical tools are passed and guided with the help of a tiny camera. Arthroscopic surgery can shorten recovery time and improve healing. It is used to align and stabilize wrist fractures, remove ganglion cysts, repair torn ligaments or cartilage, and relieve pain caused by wrist arthritis.
Medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and steroid injections can be a first step in relieving your pain. Our doctors may suggest changing the way you use or position your hand and wrist to reduce pressure on the median nerve. If these measures aren't effective, our wrist surgeons may relieve the pressure by cutting the ligaments that are pressing on the nerve. Often this is a minimally invasive surgery performed with local or regional anesthesia and sedation. You benefit from less pain and a shorter recovery.
To reduce pain, the forearm bones may be fused to the wrist bones, eliminating movement at the wrist joint.
If you have severe damage caused by wrist arthritis, we can remove the damaged bone and replace it with a metal or plastic implant. Wrist replacement surgery relieves pain and maintains function in the hand and wrist, including the ability to bend. Wrist replacement surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis so you can return home the same day. Our surgeons helped develop and test artificial joints. We have the expertise to perform these rare surgeries successfully.
WRIST PAIN AND INJURY
In addition to a doing a physical exam and taking a history of symptoms, our doctors perform these tests to identify the source of your wrist pain or loss of function.
If your movement is limited, you may need an X-ray, which can determine if you have a fracture or wrist arthritis.
An electrode is inserted into a muscle to record electrical activity in your muscle at rest and as you contract it. This helps to determine if you have a muscle and/or nerve problem, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, which is caused by pressure on the wrist’s median nerve.
Using two electrodes, doctors pass a small shock through the median nerve and associated muscles to see if the electrical impulses are impeded.